Un-hiding our Collections

I am beyond thrilled to be writing a post to tell you about a grant the BHS library received a few months back from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant, awarded as a part of the CLIR Hidden Collections program and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will make possible a project called Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn’s 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation. It is a big and exciting project for us to undertake. Over the next two years, we will be working to catalog many, many maps and survey and catalog a huge array of materials in our archival, manuscript, and photography collections.

This is just one of the many maps being cataloged as part of our Hidden Collections project. Map of the County of Kings showing the ward and town boundries, 1869.

This is just one of the many maps being cataloged as part of our Hidden Collections project. Map of the County of Kings showing the ward and town boundries, 1869.

The materials in the project focus on 19th century Brooklyn, covering the period from 1834, when Brooklyn was first incorporated as a city, to its consolidation with New York City in 1898. We see this as a fascinating period of history in our great borough; it is also a strong suit in our collections. Yet many of these amazing resources are currently not listed in any of our online catalogs, effectively making them invisible in a world where for many people, information seeking starts and ends with Google.

But this project will allow us to change all that! We’ll be cataloging like mad and putting the records in to a number of different online-accessible tools: the maps in to our online library catalog,  the archival collections in to our catablog and an NYU-hosted online finding aid search portal, and all records from the project will become a part of the WorldCat union catalog. Our hope is that with descriptions of our resources readily available and searchable on the internet, more and more people will find and use our collections, and in doing so will be inspired to create projects, papers, books, articles, research, songs, dances, and who knows what else about Brooklyn.

The project has actually been going on for a while now. We’ve assembled a fantastic project staff, and they have spent the last fseveral months surveying and cataloging. Some of their work is already up online (like the record for the map pictured above), but some won’t be online until close to the end of the project. In the meantime, the CLIR team will be blogging about their finds; and thus far, there have been some great finds. Look for a post from the library on Fridays, or click on the Hidden Collections category to the right to read them all. I’m really looking forward to reading them– I hope anyone who might be reading this out there in the blogosphere is too!


About Chela

I am the Director of Library and Archives at the Brooklyn Historical Society. I joined the BHS team in 2008. Prior to that, I was lucky enough to work in the archives of two other great history museums-- The New York Transit Museum and The Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford outside of Detroit.
This entry was posted in Hidden Collections, Library & Archives and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Un-hiding our Collections

  1. Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs

  2. Firstly download and install the current variation of viva video clip pro from the download links offered.

  3. Sumdog Tips says:

    This implies they will not shed any one of their tough gained benefits and also instructors will certainly have the ability to see the pupil’s existing academic progression.

  4. the amount of soap generated by body soaps, hair shampoos and also washing or dish detergents.

  5. Great WiFiKill for Macintosh & Windows gadgets helps to Begin customers who are snooping around in your network Fine.

  6. May I request a list of tents that
    were in the WilliamsBurgh saving Bank in 1958&1959 perhaps on the upper floors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *